February 21, 2010

Trash to Treasure: Singer Model 66 Treadle Sewing Machine

Came across a listing for a "Vintage Singer Sewing Machine" on Craigslist.   The seller was asking $25, so sent an email.  After a few back and forth questions, we arranged to meet at the local grocery store for the exchange.  We joked about how covert we felt when making the exchange.  Me pulling the heavy old sewing machine from the backseat of the seller's car and her taking the cold cash.

The seller told me the machine belonged to her grandmother, who lived in Mitchell, SD.   She was keeping the cabinet and installing her own new machine and didn't have a use for the old machine head.   Another treasure saved from the dump.  

Once home, I went to work researching the machine.   As is common with many of the Singers, the bobbin cover plate was missing.  A quick email to seller found she had the plate, along with misc feet and bobbins still in the cabinet.   In the meantime, I robbed a bobbin cover plate from another 66 I had and set to work.

I first wanted to date the machine.  In order to find out how old your machine is, as well as what model it is, you can utilize the Singer website.  It  has a wealth of information, as well as manuals for download and/or purchase. Many of them free, so if you are looking for a Singer Manual, check out their website first before forking over $10 or more for a photocopy off the internet.

Based on the serial number for this machine, AB 313591, I found her to be a Model 66 born on October 26, 1926 in Singer's Elizabethport Factory in Elizabeth Town, New Jersey. 

Although she came with a motor, based on the spoked handwheel, I would assume she was originally bought for a treadle.   I removed the motor, power cord and light, installed the reproduction hand crank and went to work.  After a thorough cleaning, setting the frozen bobbin winder assembly  in a pan of Liquid Wrench and a good oiling, she is stitching beautifully.  

But don't worry, the motor, power cord and light won't go to waste.  I have another Model 66 (1950's era) in need of a new motor, power cord, pedal and light.   He is next on my list to refurbish.

Now you've seen the shiney bobbin winder assembly in the photo above...here's what it looked like before I cleaned it up.  Uck!

She's all ready for a new home.  Visit my Etsy Store and take her home today.  She is ready to take her place in a treadle cabinet, have a hand crank attached, or even be motorized. 

1 comment:

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